Enormous Alligator Flips over Women's Kayaks on Alabama Lake: 'It Was Crazy'

A massive alligator tormented two women who were kayaking in Alabama on Saturday, flipping over both of their boats.

The women were kayaking on Lake Forest in the city of Daphne when the incident occurred, WKRG reported. Initially, the alligator flipped over the kayak of one of the women, Michelle Hartley, who subsequently swam over to her friend's boat in attempt to get to safety.

But as soon as she had climbed aboard, the alligator overturned the other kayak as well leaving both women treading water in the lake. The women then tried to swim back to shore but the alligator kept blocking their attempts, they said.

"I kept thinking I was going to die out there. Somebody tell me kids and my husband that I love them. It was crazy," Hartley told WKRG.

Eventually, a woman who lived nearby noticed what was happening and called emergency services. When firefighters arrived, they threw a rope into the lake and pulled the women to safety.

American alligators are found in coastal wetlands throughout the southeastern U.S., with their range stretching from central Texas to North Carolina, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

Firefighters in Daphne said they had never seen the alligator in question before in Forest Lake, estimating that it measured around 14 foot in length.

Male American alligators grow to an average of around 11 feet in length, although larger specimens have been reported. Females grow to around eight feet.

Alligators generally tend to avoid attacking humans. Cases involving kayakers are rare, but not unheard of. In July, an alligator flipped over the boat of a North Carolina man, Pete Joyce, while he was kayaking on the Waccamaw River—an incident that was captured on his bodycam.

"I was just about to turn around when it came towards me," Joyce, told NBC News at the time. "The video doesn't show how hard the impact was. The alligator hit the kayak so hard, I lost my balance and started to roll."

Joyce managed to clamber back into the boat and began paddling away quickly as the alligator hovered under his boat.

In February, an alligator nearly flipped over a kayak carrying two people on the Econlockhatchee River in Florida, ClickOrlando reported. "We were kayaking and a gator almost flipped us over. The tail went on our kayak. We flipped out," one of the kayakers Allison Haviland told a 911 dispatcher.

The kayakers, who were lost at the time, were eventually rescued by helicopter crew.

American alligator
Stock image: An American alligator. An alligator flipped over the kayaks of two women who were relaxing on an Alabama lake. iStock